In a few short days my friend, Mark Tidwell, will undergo another surgery. It will be his seventh since March of 2009. He has valiantly fought stage 4 colon cancer. And, in the fight of his life, he is leaving an eternal impression on many of us who watch him run the race set before him.
Mark, an area director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in metro Atlanta, is also a former high school coach who holds a total of eight state championships in five different sports. He and his wife, Lee, have recently celebrated 28 years of marriage and have three children with families of their own.
I haven’t known Mark and Lee Tidwell very long. As a matter of fact it has been less than a year. But in the times we have been able to visit with each other in person, by email, text, or phone conversation I have felt loved and encouraged.
We recently had them over for dinner and the Lord impressed upon my heart to ask Mark to lead our family devotion after dinner and share his story with our family. He was the first man I had ever asked to share in our family devotion. It will be a night we will always remember. What a great man of God to start such a Christ-honoring experience for our family.
As Mark and Lee shared their story with our family that evening after supper, I could tell that God was using them to speak into each one of our lives. Watch the video of his story at the end of this prayer post.
We prayed specifically for Mark, Lee, and their children earlier this week after hearing that the cancer had returned. Beginning tonight and for the next several nights, I will lead my family in running this race with the Tidwell’s.
I will be intentional in taking our family through Mark’s book, Leave A Mark, during our family worship time. We look forward to being impacted and influenced by God through Mark.
Leading up to Mark’s upcoming surgery I will read a chapter or two each night to my family and lead a discussion on what it means to “leave a mark.” We will also be praying for him as he continues to make his mark as a wonderful, faithful man of God on our family, and many others.
I ask that you join us in praying for Mark, Lee and their entire family as well. He is scheduled for surgery this coming Monday, October 21st, and will require two surgeons because of the complications of all the scar tissue from the previous six surgeries and radiation.
His recovery will be long, but he will be bold as always, showing us how Christ will be magnified in his body, whether by life or by death. And, yes, His God will be faithful!